Hong Kong Wetland Park, Hong Kong

Source: Wpcpey, Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 4.0 International license.

Architect

Urbis Limited

Type of Area

Wetland

Land/water interaction

Bridges
Marsh land

Built Environment Types

Low built
High green

Scale of Impact

City
Regional

Intervention Scale (Spatial)

Large site

Project Types

Wetland restoration
Habitat creation/ restoration
Green infrastructure

Climate

Warm temperate
Dry summer

Urban/ Rural

Urban fringe

Wetland Park and Education

Hong Kong Wetland Park is a predominantly man-made wetland consisting of marshes, mud flats, reed beds, mangrove habitat and several storage ponds to maintain water circulation within the wetland. There is an earth-mound shaped visitor centre, with a green roof to give a more natural look to the built environment.

The plaza provides a welcoming approach to the site, with water features, sculptures and shaded seating areas. The park offers both recreational and educational opportunities and seeks to promote the importance of conserving wetlands.

This park replaced a natural wetland that was built over by a large-scale residential housing development in the 1990’s. The wetland serves as a stopover for migratory birds and has a diversified habitat to provide a rich feeding ground; consequently, some parts of the site are restricted to visitors.

Visitor numbers have been increasing and the visitor centre provides information and guided tours on the ecology and hydrology of the wetlands, as well as information on the migratory birds that visit the area and the numerous plants and animal species that can be found in the park.

There are floating boardwalks that take visitors close to a variety of wetland habitats. Visitors can experience the change of species from the open water with floating plants such as water lilies, to reedbeds and wet woodlands. Field notes produced by a botanical artist introduce the visitors to the different plants.

The pathways meander through mangroves to a butterfly garden and there are bird watching hides placed near the fishpond and the riverside area. There are also viewing platforms for photographers with shaded seating areas. Wetland crops are also demonstrated to show the range of crops possible that helps to re-engage urban dwellers with the forgotten farming practices of this ecosystem.

Visibility and Openness

Fully enclosed
Fully contained view

Perception and Meaning

Knowledgeability
Sense of place
Accessibility
Imageability
Genius loci

Health and Wellbeing

Restorativeness
Tranquility
Sense of being away
Aesthetic experience
Better environmental perception

As the ratings show, the site’s accessibility overall is good but with room for improvement. The design quality is excellent with good site circulation for people. As a constructed wetland park, however, the site maintenance cost is high. The cultural heritage content of the site, however, is low due to it being a new wetland creation and the destruction of the one it replaces for housing. The range of facilities is good, with both shade and shelter provided.

Health and wellbeing aspects are excellent, especially for a city site, with the ability to get away into nature. Connections to the water are generally rated low, but this is understandable as a wetland park that restricts visitors’ access to migratory feeding grounds at certain times of the year and where water quality may be poor at times.  The range of recreational activities available on site is restricted due to its concentration on providing habitats for nature and less on providing sporting amenities for people.